If your school uses self-paced instruction, self-checking can help students and teachers. Students can identify and correct their own errors and the teacher saves time. But how do you help students maintain integrity?
David explains a simple method he uses to support students’ efforts at maintaining integrity. Whether you choose to use a smartphone like David does, or adapt a lower-tech approach, consider a random approach to integrity.
Self-checking: I think it’s a great opportunity for them to learn at a young age. Sometimes I wonder if we put a little too much temptation on too young students, and then maybe expect them to have a higher level of integrity than what they have matured to. That has always been a problem. Probably most students at some point get caught with cheating in their score and they don’t do it properly.
It used to be, back when I started teaching, that I would spot check every book that was handed in for a test, and that just got to be cumbersome. It’s a lot of work the teacher shouldn’t have to be doing.
Lately what I’ve been doing, and it seems to be working better than anything that I’ve ever tried before, is I have a randomizer app on my phone. I’ve got all the students’ names in it in a list. Usually after lunch or after last break or something, on days that I remember, I just pull it out. I take the third name that comes up and that student is the checker. Then I take the next two third names that come up and those are the ones that get checked. Then I’ve got a list of the subjects and I randomly pick a subject, and those two students bring that subject and the checker gets the answer key and checks the last lesson that they did in it.
If it’s perfect, then I give them a little award. If it’s got problems, they erase it and do it again. If it’s got real problems, then the penalties get bigger. If it’s bad enough, they erase the entire Light Unit and start over. If you happen to be on Lesson 14 or something, you have to redo two or three weeks worth of work in that subject. It’s pretty good motivation.
Again, I would like to see them do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because they’re afraid of what’s going to happen if they don’t. But that has really helped. No one knows when they’re going to get called and no one knows which subject is going to get checked. It seems to really keep them on top of it.
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CONTRIBUTOR: David Miller